With extreme drought and overwhelming wildfire cycles already at our door, Californians feel the urgency to protect our future. While we’ve been busy diligently cleaning up our energy grid and our dirty transportation systems, our buildings continue to burn fossil fuels. The very homes and buildings we live and work in are contributing to the climate crisis. The gas we burn in buildings in California emits a tenth of our state’s climate pollution. That’s almost as much as the whole state of Oregon produces in a year — just from our buildings. This isn’t compatible with our climate goals — which is why we need your help to tell California’s leaders to require our new buildings to be all-electric.
Long marketed as a clean or modern fuel, natural gas is actually eroding our chance at a livable future. That’s clear in moments of major disasters, like the San Bruno gas explosion in the Bay Area, or the Aliso Canyon gas leak in LA. But it’s also happening in the ongoing, daily pollution emitted from the appliances in our homes.
Burning gas indoors is making us sick. Children who grow up in a home with a gas stove are 42% more likely to develop asthma symptoms. It’s a dirty secret of the gas industry that burning its product in our homes gives us unhealthy levels of indoor air pollution. The smaller and less ventilated your home is, the worse it gets. It’s even more concerning when you consider how much time many of us are spending in our homes — often with children — during the pandemic.
Despite the power of the gas industry, we are going to win this fight. In the last few years, over 40 cities in California have committed to stopping the use of gas in new construction and going all-electric instead. Now, we want to see California become the first state to embrace all-electric new homes.
The benefits would be immense: cleaner air, healthier homes for children, and meaningful climate action to help build a livable future. There are some good side benefits too: upgraded modern appliances like heat pumps and inductions stoves, cheaper construction costs, and ample clean energy jobs. And if California goes all in on all-electric homes, it will spark a trend in other states, too.
In order to embrace the change we need, California’s leaders need to hear a groundswell of support for all-electric new homes. It’s time to make some noise. Will you join us in urging leaders in California to leave gas in the past and move towards the future?